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New leadership changes for Allentown City Council as Hendricks returns to council president

Allentown City Council 2023
Jay Bradley
Allentown City Council at the January 18 meeting.

ALLENTOWN, Pa. — Allentown City Council had some leadership changes during Wednesday night's reorganization meeting.

Councilman Daryl Hendricks was returned to the top position of the board.

  • Allentown City Council elected previous president Daryl Hendricks as the council president while outgoing president Cynthia Mota was elected to the vice president position
  • Hendricks had previously held the position in 2020 during the pandemic and says he looks to guide the council on fiscal stability
  • Hendricks and other council members commended Mota on her tenure

Hendricks was elected president by a 5-2 vote, following a nomination by Councilwoman Candida Affa as part of the council's annual reorganization process.
Voting against Hendricks were Ce-Ce Gerlach, who had renominated Cynthia Mota, and Natalie Santos.

Wednesday's leadership vote came after the council in previous meetings struggled to fill a board vacancy.

Council needed 11 rounds of voting in two meetings before finally on Jan. 4 picking business owner Santo Napoli to fill a seat vacated by Josh Siegel after he won election to the state House of Representatives.

Council had failed to fill that seat from a pool of 13 applicants at its Dec. 19 meeting.

The council president and vice president positions are elected by the first candidate to receive a majority of the vote after being nominated. Hendricks was the first nomination.

"I want to leave this body and the taxpayers of our great city to know that I will do everything in my power to steer our council [on] the path of fiscal stability. I will do so in a very transparent manner."
Daryl Hendricks, new Allentown Council President

"I want to leave this body and the taxpayers of our great city to know that I will do everything in my power to steer our council [on] the path of fiscal stability," Hendricks said. "I will do so in a very transparent manner."

He said he doesn't want to have to raise taxes in the upcoming year and prides himself on being able to attend all council and committee meetings.

Outgoing president Cynthia Mota was nominated by Hendricks for the vice president position and was elected unanimously.

"It was an honor to be the president," Mota said after her election. "I did learn a lot. And it was hard work, no doubt about that. But thank you so much for trusting in working with me, and in I will do the same as vice president. I'm really excited, we have a lot to do."

"I'm so proud," Affa said of Mota's tenure. "A woman, a Latino woman. And not only that, I think you did a tremendous job. I know how hard you work, how hard you work now. People don't realize how hard being president of [the] council is."

Hendricks said, "I look forward to working with her. She's done a great job in her first year. Under a new administration, I'm sure we're going to have our differences, but I look forward to work[ing] with them. And hopefully, we'll be able to collaborate and get those things done."

Hendricks previously served as council president in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Affa pointed to Hendricks' leadership during the difficult times of that year and the necessity of making difficult decisions then.

Councilperson Daryl L. Hendricks
Courtesy, City of Allentown
Allentown City Council President Daryl L. Hendricks

"One of our big responsibilities going forward in the near term is, and will be addressed very shortly, the expenditure of the [American Rescue Plan Act] funding," Hendricks said of the upcoming year for the council.

"Some of those plans we'll be releasing shortly, and how we're going to disseminate those."

Hendricks said that in March, it will be his 45th year serving the City of Allentown. He had 36 years as a police officer, followed by nine years of membership on the council.